2009 Fall Baseball Letter #2

Gentlemen, Happy 4th of July.

I am going to spend a little time reminding all of you about fall baseball and that on our website, www.nwumpires.com are the many quizzes that cover the PBUC red manual on the 2-Umpire System are available for your personal use and that is how I will be sending them out this year. In other words, if you are in fall baseball this coming August 22, 23, August 29, 30, September 12, 13, September 19, 20, September 26, 27 & October 3, 4 you need to spend some time studying the manual and also going through the questions and answers to all the quizzes.

We will have an orientation meeting in the week before the games begin. All participating umpires are expected to attend this meeting. I will be handing out the red PBUC Manual for the 2-Umpire System at that time to those that do not already have one. The cost is $10.00 that can be deducted from the umpire fee you will earn this fall. For non-NW Umpires, you will have to pay the $10 when you receive your copy.

I suggest looking at Quiz #1 sometime real soon. I will be e-mailing next Monday and reminding you to look at Quiz #2 at that time. Quiz # 1 covers Section 1 and part of Section 2 of the Red Manual. Game Preliminaries and No Runners on Base are covered in these 2 sections.

Many of you are expected to be umpiring this fall in our development program and/or evaluating other umpires. Some of you are not scheduled for this fall but may want to participate in some way. Please let me know your wishes. I will begin contacting you soon to find out your best times for umpiring or evaluating in the fall league. The sites again will be at Siebert and Alimagnet. However on 3 of the Saturday's we will be at Alimagnet only because the new football stadium will be taking up all the parking spaces and there will be no room for baseball on campus on those three Saturdays.

I also have a number of different techniques that I will be sending out through arbiter periodically too that come from Jim Evans new "Maximizing The Two-Umpire System." He sells this on his website and also on the ABUA website. It is a great read and an important document. It is pricey but you cannot go wrong if you are truly serious about umpiring. You can go to either of these websites by going to our website first.

Below is an example of some of the Signaling and Communication from Jim's new book. I will be sending these out in logical segments as I did earlier this spring on the Glossary of Terms from his book.

Verbal Communication with Your Partner

1. Getting Help On Tag Attempt If you are blocked (you have a player’s body between you and the point of the tag attempt), it may be advisable to get help from your partner. Before getting help, however, you should be absolutely convinced that your partner has a good look at the play. Do not just instinctively ask for help any time there is a question in your mind. There is no guarantee that your partner has a better view than you. Reading plays properly and making adjustments will enable you to call most of your plays accurately without having to ask for help. After the tag attempt occurs but before you signal anything, establish eye contact with your partner and ask, “Jim, did he tag him?”

2. Base Umpire Goes Out With no runner(s) on base, the base umpire will sometimes read trouble on a batted ball into his area of jurisdiction and decide to advance into the outfield to make a ruling. This shifts all responsibility for the batter-runner to the plate umpire. If the base umpire opts to proceed into the outfield, he shall shout, “Going out!”

3. Base Umpire Returns From Going Out On rare occasions, the base umpire will be able to go out on a trouble ball and then return to the plate to take a play on the batter- runner. This will not normally occur if the batter-runner races all the way home attempting an inside-the-park home run. It is most likely to occur when there is a play on him at third and the ball is overthrow or gets away. In this case, the base umpire may have time to get position for the play at the plate. Once he is in position and a play is imminent, he shall inform his partner, “I’ve got the plate, Jim! I’ve got the plate!”

4. Plate Umpire Takes Play At Third On Runner From First With a runner on first only or runners on first and third, the plate umpire will take responsibility on a base hit for a play at third on the runner from first. As he leaves the plate area, the plate umpire acknowledges his responsibility at third by shouting, “I’ve got third if he comes!” After he assumes his position near third (library) and reads a play developing there (ball and runner), he then communicates to his partner, “I’ve got third! I’ve got third!” as he moves into position in fair territory. Reminder: If a play does not develop at third, the plate umpire will return to the plate and communicate to his partner, “I’m gong home!”

5. Plate Umpire Returns Home After Advancing To/Toward Third As discussed in this manual, there are times that the plate umpire will be taking responsibility for plays at third base. It is important that he notifies his partner as he leaves the plate area that he is heading to third. “I’ve got third if he comes!” Sometimes, the runner will be advancing to third but the ball is not thrown there. Sometimes the ball is thrown to third but the runner stops at second. Once the plate umpire realizes this, he communicates to his partner that he is returning home. “Going home, Jim! Going home!”

6. Plate Umpire Takes Responsibility For Trouble In Right Field There will be times in the two-umpire system when the plate umpire will not be able to assume responsibility for a play on a runner at third because his priority is the trouble ball in right. As a reminder to his partner that he will not be at third, the plate umpire shall should, “I’m on the line!”

7. Plate Umpire Takes Play At Third When Runner From Second Tags With runners on first and second and the runner from second is tagging up on a fly ball to the outfield, the plate umpire will move toward third and let his partner know that he is advancing into position to take the play at third. As he departs the plate area, he shouts, “I’ve got third if he tags!” Once he determines that there is a tag-up and a play developing at third, he advances into the cut-out and assumes his position. As he moves into position in fair territory, he shouts, “I’ve got third! I’ve got third!”